Top 5 Essentials for Your Law Firm WebsiteSometimes our success is impeded by obstacles of our own making. When it comes to your most important marketing tool — your law firm website — you may have (knowingly or unknowingly) made some choices that are standing in the way of bringing in new business.

To have a law firm website that engages visitors and makes them want to contact you, there are five essential elements you need:

#1: Speed.

Research has shown that most consumers expect a web page to load in no more than two seconds. If it takes longer than that, they are on to the next thing and they typically will never return to your law firm website. Even just a one-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. So page speed is crucial when you have just that one chance to make an impression with your law firm website. Plus, Google rewards fast-loading sites with better rankings. Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check the speed of your website on desktop and mobile devices and follow the tips for improving your site’s speed.

#2: Great mobile experience. 

Mobile platforms have now surpassed desktop computers in terms of where consumers access online content. If you do not have a website that is optimized for mobile, then you are letting leads fall through your fingers. Consumer attorneys especially need to have mobile websites, since it is far more likely your services will be needed when a mobile device is the only convenient one at hand. Google research shows that 43% of local searches by consumers are from mobile devices and 76% of those consumers needed help either immediately or within the next day or two.

#3: Local search. 

Local search is critical when trying to improve the ranking for your law firm website on Google and other search engines. Here are some tips law firms can use to rank better in local search results:

Fix your NAP. All your NAP listings on local directories and review sites must be the same – name, address and phone number. I strongly recommend you check out your current listings on yext.com and moz.com and get them fixed fast.

Use the proper keywords. Use the same words in your content and header tags that your prospects are using when they search online. List 20-30 key phrases you believe prospects use and then, research them further online.

Use Google My Business. List your firm on Google My Business (google.com/business) – it’s free and keeps your information consistent and updated across Google Search, Maps and Google+.

Use local terms in your content. Be sure you are using cities in your website content. Include your company name and address, as well as a geo sitemap on your site.

Obtain reviews. Google has decided that reviews of local businesses are important, which means that you need to proactively encourage clients who are happy with your services to review you online. Spread the reviews around – Avvo, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook and other directories.

Optimize social network pages. Wherever your law firm is visible on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. – be sure you have posted your firm’s name and address information on those sites. Remember to keep it consistent with all your online listings!

Use schema markup. Schema markup is code that tells Google important things about your business, including your location. You can check your schema markup by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

Optimize your site for mobile. Approximately 60% of website visits are now made on a mobile device – tablet or smartphone – so your website must be optimized for mobile. The best way to do this is to use responsive Web design for your main website, which guarantees that it will perform well no matter what size screen a prospect is using to find you.

#4: Easy to contact. 

On every page of your website you should have three ways for people to contact you:

  1. Phone number prominently displayed at the top right side of your website (in the header).
  2. Contact form that people can fill out that asks for their name, email or phone and a comments box.
  3. Live chat function that allows a prospect to chat online with someone immediately.

Our clients tell us some of their best and hottest leads are chat leads and many are converting these leads into good cases.

#5: Analytics.

Tracking your website analytics will provide you with all the insights you need about visitor behavior over time and will also help you identify opportunities for improvement. Google Analytics is free and easily integrated into your website; it will provide you with all the data you need to keep your website relevant to potential clients.